The Belgian Air Component has started training operations using the first of two Dassault Falcon 7X VIP transport aircraft.
On April 29, the first Falcon 7X – registration OO-LUM (c/n 4) – was pictured visiting Doncaster-Sheffield Airport (DSA), South Yorkshire, UK, on a training flight.
In Belgian service, the aircraft – alongside a second example, registration OO-FAE – will be operated as part of the so-called 'white fleet', which comprises the service’s VIP transport aircraft. The Falcon 7Xs will replace the air arm’s current fleet of Dassault Falcon 900 and two remaining Embraer ERJ-135LR aircraft, being used to transport the Monarchy of Belgium, government ministers and high-ranking military officials.
The delivery of the Falcon 7Xs to the Belgian Air Component is the result of a dry-lease contract agreement – worth €124m – with Abelag Aviation, which will last for 12 years. The deal was originally announced in September last year, before being cancelled a month later and finally reinstated in January of this year.